I like a bit of Neil Gamain now and then. Not sure why, but I would guess that lots of us start our reading lives with fantasy. Bill Badger, the wonderful Gnome brothers in Little Grey Men, Ratty Mole and Toad and so on, so some fantasy here and there probably allows for some nostalgia without going back to our childhood reading list. Gamain apparently writes to an adult and child audience. There have been a couple of his books that I may not want a child to be reading. This one, for me is probably in that category. The story is narrated by a seven year old boy. The sort of evil character in the novel seduces his Dad at one point. I tend to think kiddies do need to have black and white goodies and baddies and that ambiguous characters having sex with the main characters Dad can wait at least until teen years.
But forget about that, I’m well and truly grown up. So, like all his novels, this is very readable and not long. You could probably knock it off on a rainy day. Our young hero discovers that his family are not terribly reliable and like all good kiddy characters, he finds that he can rely on himself (with the help of three rather amazing female characters).
Gamain has come up with some remarkable characters for the three women who help our hero. Old Mrs Hempstock – who remembers the Big Bang, Ginnie Hempstock – who remembers the Moon being formed and Lettie Hempstock who has been eleven for a very long time are just terrific – as is their cooking and wonderful home produce.
Some harmless and very well written fun – a bit like eating jelly babies.